When Do You Know You Have a Great Babysitter? You’ve scheduled a babysitter, the babysitter has arrived, and you’re on your way out the door. Depending on the age of the child you could see some tears and, believe me, this really isn’t an indicator, in most cases, of whether or not you have a good babysitter. Upon return your house is in good order including dishes are put into dishwasher, counters are wiped down, toys are picked up and put away nicely, and there is no chaos, seriously zero chaos, seen upon your return. The next morning the kids are happy, they talk about all the fun stuff they did with the babysitter (if they have verbal skills), jammies are clean, no diaper rashes (if children aren’t prone to diaper rash), rooms are orderly. These are pretty good indicators that you have a good babysitter.
If you get home here are some indications that you didn’t have a great babysitter: the house is in chaos, toys everywhere, kids are still up at midnight if there bedtime is at 9 or 10pm or earlier, living room looks like a bomb went off, kitchen full of dirty dishes, newly tracked in mud, kids are naked or partially dressed if that isn’t their normal attire, toilet paper in the toilet, kids are crying, or they’re asleep but diapers are wet, they aren’t in their jammies, their little faces look red and puffy from crying, and the babysitter is sitting in front of the TV or on their phone, and look like a child with their hand in the cookie jar when you you arrive home.
If you ever feel concerned about your babysitter you should listen to your intuition and never have them watch the kids again. I’ve learned that your intuition is usually correct. So many times I’ve gone against my intuition, and I normally get burned; thankfully not seriously but it’s been close. I’ve checked references and done the background check, everything looked good on paper. I interviewed but there was something that set my alarms off, nothing blatant but there was something (couldn’t put my finger on it) that told me not a hire, and I’d push it down and hire them. Unfortunately, they’ve been flaky, full of life drama, and lazy. I feel completely duped when this happens, and I pay the price when my business reputation gets tarnished. It takes one time and then I have to struggle to get my reputation back where I want it.
When it comes to your children learn from my mistakes, and never settle for a babysitter that doesn’t engage with your children and keep them off of screens unless you specify otherwise. You pay them and they should be doing their job. There are terrific babysitters out there, but you need to do due diligence in finding them and listen to your intuition. Trust me it isn’t easy but when you’re risking the safety of your children and their happiness you shouldn’t settle nor should you settle for the bare minimum. You wouldn’t be able to keep your job if you did just the bare minimum; would you?